Saturday, August 1st, 2015 10:46 am
I've always heard that the idea of "privation of good" was something Augustine came up with. (Summary: evil is not a thing in itself, but only the absence of good-- like how darkness is the absence of light.) But 300 years earlier, Epictetus was saying:

"As a mark is not set up for the sake of missing the aim, so neither does the nature of evil exist in the world." (Enchiridion, 27)

Isn't that the same idea?
Saturday, August 1st, 2015 08:13 am

Posted by karen

I am still travelling.  I’ve been away from home since the start of June and I won’t be home for a while yet.  Today, I’m singing at my cousin’s wedding.  I’m a little nervous about that.  At the start of the trip I attended my niece’s wedding, and my trip will end with a friend’s wedding.  Weddings are wonderfully happy occasions, and once the singing is over I’m sure I’ll have a great time today.

Marty and me at our niece's wedding.

Marty and me at our niece’s wedding.

Friday, July 31st, 2015 06:33 pm
I don't give a damn whether Labour is electable under Corbyn-- the next election's too far off to worry about. What I *do* care about is having an effective Opposition, and that's something I'm certain he can provide. Six PM's questions a week, the chance to choose who's on the front benches, and a guaranteed place in almost every political TV show-- given a year or two, he'll move the Overton window enough that today's estimations of who's electable will be irrelevant.

I don't believe for a moment that Labour can't gain power with Corbyn as leader-- we can't know, because there hasn't been a Labour Party that was much distinguishable from the Tories since the nineties.

No, I don't think Corbyn is the second coming of Marx. I don't think the Labour party is going to do a great deal of good for ordinary people any time soon. I don't believe electoral politics will deliver enough change to fix the system. But I do believe that the parliamentary Labour Party can do more good in the world than they're doing right now.
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Friday, July 31st, 2015 06:23 pm
2015 is, apparently, the year my hayfever makes its comeback. While I am not sneezing, my eyes are swollen and hurt and itch. Bah. I just bought some loratadine, hoping it won't make me too tired.

In better news, 10 months after leaving my previous glasses on the plane, I finally got myself new ones. It's weird at the moment, but it's also nice to finally be able to see details again. My sight isn't too bad, so I really only need glasses for seeing things in the distance when driving and it wasn't unsafe without them or anything, but having the option to use them is good.

And now I am off work for two weeks. Yay!
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Friday, July 31st, 2015 01:45 pm
Hi folk,

Masterlist updated with one new issue, bringing us to a total of eight unclaimed issues. Of these, two are adding sites to the embed whitelist (for which we have a wiki page!), one is adding another site to the <user name=""> tag (which I've touched extensively recently and would be delighted to help with); and then there's some site text that needs tweaking, and a few bits of CSS that could use some love.

I'd be more than happy to provide encouragement on any of these, and can actively help out with site text, the user name tag, and whitelisting embeds :-)
Thursday, July 30th, 2015 05:13 pm

Hi all,

Sorry for the delay, there was a most unfortunate timing as I was in Europe without Internet access. Anyway, the Dreamhack server is back up and running so you should be able to log in and such.

I'll also be making sure that at least [personal profile] alierak has access to the control panel so this kind of thing won't be a single point of failure on me in the future.

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Thursday, July 30th, 2015 08:00 pm
I feel like the only person on my reading list who didn't have some kind of revelation when reading that recent Metafilter discussion on Emotional Labor

http://the-toast.net/2015/07/13/emotional-labor/view-all/
http://www.metafilter.com/151267/Wheres-My-Cut-On-Unpaid-Emotional-Labor

I guess it's a combination of already having read about all the concepts behind it and also it not being all that applicable to my life. A lot of these things, I just don't do - I am not managing our relationship with my husband's family, or reminding him of birthdays, I am not doing some kind of therapy replacement for friends, or get people to be nice towards each other at work. My husband gets just as annoyed as I do when other men talk about "babysitting" their own children or need their female partners to remind them to buy Christmas presents.

There are obviously trade offs in my life, and not everything is smelling of roses, not even in my marriage, but emotional labor investment just isn't really one of those areas.

Important article and discussion, just not a very personal thing for me, I guess.
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Sunday, July 26th, 2015 02:32 pm
Code touuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur. Welcome to [github.com profile] dteklavya, a first-time contributor! Everybody hang onto your hats, because there ain't no getting offa this train! (Clearly I have been playing too much FF7 lately. I blame [staff profile] denise.)

Let's mosey. )
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Sunday, July 26th, 2015 02:40 pm

Posted by karen

I flew from New York to Dublin yesterday. I was fortunate to be sitting beside two friendly people, Katie from L.A. who was flying to Ireland for her summer holiday, and an Irish man who was heading home after a technology conference.  Katie was excited about her trip.  She hadn’t done much research, but she had a smart phone with GPS and the internet, so really didn’t think it was needed.  She told me she would be happy as long as it was green and there were castles and distilleries. It certainly has those things, so we smiled and chatted about food, one of my favourite Irish things, and the beautiful places she could visit.

As usually happens I got cold during the flight.  But I travel with a blanket and while Katie was admiring my fluffy Disney blanket we talked about our mutual dislike of being cold.  It turns out she was the sort of person who feels cold when others feel warm.  She joked about wearing 7 layers of clothes when her friends went out in shorts and t-shirts.  The Irish man asked if she had brought jumpers to wear on holiday.  She didn’t know what a jumper was, as it’s not an American English word, so I told her it was a sweater.  She had brought one, but it was summer, surely she wouldn’t need them?  Ah, the Irish man said, so you don’t know what it is that makes Ireland so green.

As we were landing the captain announced that it was 44° F (7 ° C) in Dublin.  She said to me, “did he mean 44° C?”.  He, of course, did not.  It was cold yesterday morning, colder than L.A. in winter, and even cold for an Irish summer. Katie was horrified.  We told her to find a Primark and to buy some cheap winterish clothes so that she didn’t freeze.

It’s still cold today.  I have been avoiding the rain and the wind.  It’s about 52° F (11° C) and after my week in New York of average temps. around 86° F (30° C), I’m cold.  My Mum’s washing is forlorn.  It hangs through wind and rain until eventfully the weight of the water drags it from the line.  I have not worked out yet why she bothers and there seems to be an endless cycle of rewashing clothes that become dirty on the line.  I think that she is an optimist and hopes for sun, it is summer after all, but today that seems a far fetched dream.

Washing in Rain

Washing in Rain – but look at how green the grass is…

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 10:38 am
1. Twice this week I have read arguments against "they" as a gender neutral third person singular that amounted to "but using a plural verb form for a singular pronoun is wrong and confusing!"

My first impulse was replying just with "you are wrong".

If that didn't help, maybe "you *are* wrong"

I am not sure that would have helped, though...

(German, by the way, has "sie" as third person singular female used with singular verb forms, "Sie" as formal second person singular with plural verb forms, and "sie" as third person plural with plural verb forms. Sure it can be ambiguous, but people do manage)

2. The German generic masculine sucks and is anything but generic. Please stop telling me I should be okay with it because it's gender neutral when every study finds that when people say "Lehrer" (teacher) or "Polizist" (cop) the vast majority of people picture a man. Even if they are the kind of people who argue again and again that the masculine form of those nouns encompasses men and women. Only when you say "Lehrerin" or "Polizistin" do people start thinking of women.

(This rant was brought to you by the very same people in my office who tell me that "Softwareentwickler" is neutral correcting me when I joked that I could always become an "Arzt". Because surly it should be "Ärztin". Gah.)
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Friday, July 24th, 2015 09:13 pm
Manager of engineering to someone just before I left work: "Go home, it's Friday!"

My team lead on Yammer as I was cooking dinner: "What are you all still doing online! Stop working it's the weekend"

(I'm pretty sure *they're* both still going to work though :p)

(I am rather liking this place though. It's just been a week so who knows, but I am tentatively happy.)
Friday, July 24th, 2015 07:58 pm
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
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Friday, July 24th, 2015 04:29 pm
HORNE: Well, you might have noticed that round-the-horne dot com is looking a bit drab these days. So I decided to hire a website consultant, and the first one I tried was called "Information Bona Highway".

(FX: shop bell)

JULIAN: Oh, hello! I'm Julian and this is my friend Sandy.
HORNE: I need some help with my website. I found you online...
SANDY: He's been googling us, Jules.
JULIAN: We get so much trade that way, Mr Horne.
HORNE: Do you have much experience in site design?
JULIAN: Oh, we've been at it for years. Back with Geocities and Myspace.
SANDY: Yes. Everyone wanted a bit of Myspace. They were positively queueing up for my top eight.
JULIAN: Tom-- you remember Tom? He was my top.
HORNE: I want my site to look a little less...
SANDY: Nineties?
JULIAN: Passé. That's your actual French.
HORNE: Yes. Would you be available to update it?
SANDY: Oh, you'll be wanting my help, Mr Horne. I'm positively a tiger of web design.
JULIAN: A tiger in the stylesheets.
SANDY: I do everything that's handled by the client. Everything responsive. If you want a nice double-column layout, I'm your man.
JULIAN: He just tweaks his padding-bottom and we're away.
HORNE: I see. Are you both client-side?
JULIAN: No, I concentrate on the back end. Django, mainly.
SANDY: Django! His Python is a sight to behold.
HORNE: Can I run it on Windows?
JULIAN: Oh, no, I swear by Debian.
SANDY: Swears by it.
JULIAN: Nothing else manages my packages so well.
HORNE: And it's more secure, I take it?
SANDY: Well, I must be frank, Mr Horne. Julian's never been much of a dab hand at intrusion detection.
JULIAN: Traitor!
SANDY: Well, it's true.
JULIAN: I can guarantee, guarantee that someone will be probing my ports this evening.
SANDY: Will you excuse us, Mr Horne? I really must go and check his log.
Friday, July 24th, 2015 06:31 am
One week since I filed a bug report with HabitRPG because one of the features of the app completely broke with the last update, still no response at all. Not even that the ticket has been verified or whatever their process is.

And don't get me started on needing your user to register at Github so they can report issues. That's a really high barrier right there, I almost didn't feel like even reporting that problem and I already had a Github account...

Grumpy customer is grumpy.
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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 07:31 pm
Come and join me at [community profile] earth_final_conflict

This fandom is old and pretty much dead, but I can't be the only one here, right? The show just got a re-run in Germany after almost ten years, and there's finally a DVD release, too. So I'm currently re-watching and need a place to share my squee. *g*
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Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 06:20 pm
I couldn't find the Fred the Hero article here, though I eventually found it in my email. I will write a proper entry about it later, but this is useful for anyone working in technology.

http://testobsessed.com/2008/12/beware-the-hero/
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Monday, July 20th, 2015 07:55 pm
[community profile] write_now is a writing community, primarily for in-the-moment progress reports, discussion, and support. The aim of the community is to share as little or as much as you want about each day's writing, and to gather active writers together so that we can take heart from each other's writing progress.

[community profile] write_now is open to every writer, whatever you are writing, however frequently you write, however much you write at a time, and whatever you want to share about your writing. If you're writing something right now, you are welcome!
Monday, July 20th, 2015 01:20 pm
The dreamhack machine is not responding to SSH requests. [personal profile] sophie is aware of the issue but says that [staff profile] mark is the only one with the necessary access to administer the machine, and he is currently unavailable. We'll get things fixed up as soon as we can!
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Monday, July 20th, 2015 03:24 pm
OneThree new issues, bringing us to a total of sixeight unclaimed issues. Have fun -- and please do feel encouraged to ask if you've any questions!
Monday, July 20th, 2015 01:42 am

Posted by karen

Dear J, single of Manhattan,

I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation tonight and your contemplation as to why you might be still single in your 30s.  I know you didn’t ask for my advice, but here is some anyway.

  1. Asking your date questions about themselves is great but you really shouldn’t answer the questions for them.
  2. If you do decide to let your date speak, it’s a good idea to listen.
  3. When taking a date to a restaurant you should know something about either the restaurant or the cuisine.  Describing guacamole as “the stuff on green sushi” and using your phone to look up the other foods does make it seem that you put no effort into choosing the restaurant.
  4. Making racist comments and offending 1.2 billion people is probably not a good idea.
  5. Bringing up S.T.Ds and not seeming to understand that you get these from having sex is just odd. (You really can’t catch one just by visiting a country.)
  6. First dates are not the time to give a lecture on how you expect your future children to behave.
  7. Making comments about the speed that your date eats, and your concerns about how they will look in the future if they keep eating like that, is not endearing.

Yours, K, who wishes she could tune out background noise.